By the time I was 14, I had lived in eight different homes. Since then, I’ve moved 17 more times. That’s 31 places in 41 years. When this occurred to me the other day, I realized something: I have never planted my roots. I’ve had dozens of houses/apartments/basement suites, but I have never made a home for myself – in my body or in my life.
I’ve only just connected these two phenomena – but they are both symptoms of the same issue. Whether I’m packing up and moving or I’m hunkering down and eating, I’m looking to escape my present circumstances. I have always sought a geographic or gastronomical cure for an emotional problem and, in both cases, the “cure” only made the symptoms worse.
The impact of the overeating is clear – I weighed 330 lbs at the beginning of this Nourishing Camie journey. I had made my body an inhospitable place to be. Everything hurt, moving was excruciating, I hated the way I looked and the way people looked at me. My body was like a tenement slum in which my spirit was trying to eke out a life…and not succeeding. Over the last three months, I have been committed to giving my spirit a better home – and, thanks to you guys, and some good old fashioned determination, I’m getting there. I hit the 50 lb lost mark yesterday!
The impact constant moving may not be as obvious, but it’s most certainly real. By looking for happiness on the next street, I’ve never committed to building my own happiness. I’ve experienced the stress of packing, moving and unpacking 17 times in 20 years.
I’ve dealt with landlords who couldn’t care less about their dilapidated houses and landlords who came around a little too often. I’ve never been able to have a pet without the fear of being evicted and not being able to find another place who will take them. I’ve dealt with noisy upstairs neighbours and I’ve been the noisy upstairs neighbour. I’ve paid exorbitant rent for tiny places in bad neighbourhoods because I live in an oil town – all the while paying someone else’s mortgage. When it comes down to it, that’s where the real impact is. I have spent way too much time working way too many hours at jobs that don’t fulfill and inspire me all to invest in someone else’s future. It’s made me sad, it’s made me resentful and it’s made me fat.
And so, with the firm belief that creating room for happiness in my life is an essential part of restoring my health, I am declaring a new possibility. Instead of being sad, resentful and fat, I’m committed to being creative, fulfilled and at peace. Instead of running from the present, I’m committed to building a future. It is my intention to buy a home that inspires creativity, fulfillment and peace. It is my intention to plant roots, to build my own happiness, to make music and paint and work on projects that make the world a better place. To invest in me. And to finally have a place to call home. Wish me luck!
Love and light,
4 thoughts on “A Place to Call Home”
That was very enlightening. It’s an interesting perspective, to compare the body and the house. Both are places you live in, containers you put yourself in, spaces you inhabit.
I spent the first 18 years of my life in the same home. My parents bought it just after they married, and still live in it. I always wanted to get away from it, and when I left home I did the same thing you did, moving around constantly. I can’t even give you a number, because I don’t even remember all of the places I’ve lived.
I’m feeling that same urge you are; enough is enough. I want to live in a space that matters.
I have lived in the house I live in now since 1970. I certainly have roots; but, I also have a whole shitload of stuff , that I have accumulated over the years, that I don’t need. Not having roots may have been an issue for you; but, I am willing to bet that you have a strong sense of who you are that is not related to what you own.
I think we’ve got a tie on how many times we’ve both moved and how many different places!
I started out at 16 living on my own on Vancouver Island, Parksville then Victoria, many places there then off to rural Quebec by myself at 18 lived in an amazing character apartment in a house over a college bohemian café…for only $350 per month 3 bedroom apartment with beautiful old front deck with circular rod iron outdoor staircase (deadly in the winter!!)complete with old horse stalls turned into as a huge garage/storage. The life and smells of the very busy village café literally below me! Beside us the huge Art College of Valleyfield, Québec. This village and area was in the Montégie, about a 1and a 1/5 hour drive to the island of Montréal!
From there, at 20 in the year 2000, moved to Edmonton??? Edmonton they said in quizzical French accents?? Why? Where? Ed..mun..tonne??
Because my dad said “you can get a job leave it & get another job across the street!”. He was right. But, this place I too had never thought about was sooo ugly as we pulled in, after driving thru the great Canadian January winter. (Don’t do that kids!)
Then music found me and so did the Federal Government! Haha! I mean I worked at 20 for them in French downtown Edmonton. Many different departments, CRA, Immigration & Refugee Board and my absolute favourite, the Corrections Canada, downtown Edmonton Parole Castle! Very dangerous in there especially for a young girl..trying not to look attractive, as I rode my bicycle, daily into the Compound yard, filled with Federal men Offenders loitering about in the yard! (Federal crimes = Murder, Rape etc…) Funny enough there were NO guards??
Then I was thrown into the back of a little 80s Honda Civic and kidnapped to Calgary! Well, actually a great Calgarian indie Rocker, lead singer/keyboard alter ego woman of the group Falconhawk, threw meher car bound for Calgary to sing back ups in her successful and on the rise band, where we were to perform a concert for Much MUSIC does West in 1 weeks time! 1 week of getting to know you..and rehearsal.
Kara Keith taught me EVERYTHING about being a great disciplined, “BALLS to the wall!” indie rocker, with the most memorable lesson of all, “Don’t date your fans!” Althoufgg, I was actually performing “undercover” in our tall leather high heeled 80’s boots, long legs and short dresses, as I was truly a Blues girl. No one found out, in the fiery, no dancing indie rock scene of downtown Calgary, thank God! 😉😉😕
Sleeping on her floor, attending Mount Royal College was my home. Then my first apartment in the tower of a cool character house in Mission! $500 for a full 1 bedroom suite!
Then my boyfriend blues harmonica player and I rented out the basement suite as well! Upstairs for the girls, downstairs for the boys, so much fun & music.
Then 3 character houses with garages and big back yards later in Mt Royal, Kensington, all under $1000 incl utilities, the fun and finally some security, only ruined by the demolition of all those houses after a couple years.
Calgary 20o6 to 2016 = The Great Demolishin’ time of beautiful Character Houses!
A time for losers and homelessness! No security and no warning.
Here I am now in Mount Pleasant post Flood.
Found the smaller version of the Mission/Kensington Character homes, living in a house alot like your favourite little one Camie, but not as colourful or nice. The price ? $1650 per month! Plus utilities.
I can’t walk, I’m too disabled physically to move any more times right now.
This loose list of abodes don’t include the 10 or so other homes within each city I’ve lived, not including France or Switzerland as a Nanny turned European singer.
Or the many kind friends who’ve given me a place to stay while homeless POST – demolishments.
Your friend in arms, Christine Davis